Clip-Tone Buddy makes inhalers smarter without the need for costly electronics and batteries. We use audio digital signal processing to interpret how well an inhaler is used.
In the UK an estimated 6.6mn people use inhalers for managing respiratory disease but more than 90% of these users make at least one critical error which impacts the effectiveness of the drug. These errors influence clinical, quality of life and economic outcomes. We are developing smartphone apps which use audio digital signal processing to interpret information about a person's use of an inhaler. Focusing on providing feedback to users on their technique in real-time and creating a record of use which quickly builds a picture of inhaler technique and compliance and overall disease control. This empowers patients to manage their disease effectively and allows healthcare professionals to focus the discussions with patients. Our solution is cost effective and environmentally sustainable without the need for costly electronics. At an individual level our technology offers patients the opportunity to gain better understanding of their disease and medication. At a population level the behavioural insights yielded can enhance understanding of patient behaviour with the potential to influence future device design and opening the prospect of developing predictive tools.
Respiratory diseases are characterised by periods of exacerbation which can require emergency medical treatment, including hospitalisation. In addition, if a patient is not using their inhaler correctly and the disease is uncontrolled it may trigger a stepping up of therapy which increases the costs of disease management but also the potential of side effects. Empowering patients to manage their disease can impact the control of disease - reducing the requirement for emergency treatment, and the economic impact of lost work days. Longer term the insights into patient behaviour can be used to influence and inform future device design and gain a better understanding of deterioration of the disease to prevent future exacerbation.
The technology can be developed as a management tool for all inhaler users - this would be of interest to: - healthcare professionals - healthcare organisations - healthcare insurers - employers interested in the welfare of their staff - pharmaceutical manufacturers for adding value to existing products or as a companion to indicate appropriateness of stepping up therapies. - clinical trials organisations to record compliance and remove the variability that can be introduced.